Friday, September 20, 2013
It's been a long time since I posted anything here. I don't have much to say tonight, I just want to share what I'm feeling. Tonight I feel peace. I feel a sense of awe. Today in one of my classes we sang, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." I feel that love now, and am amazed at how He shows that love for me everyday. It's in the everyday, simple things that fill me up, that let me know He's always with me and always has been. He knows me perfectly. He is guiding my life and knows what will bring me the most happiness. I am His "work" and His "glory." We all are. He loves me and all of us. And I love Him.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Hola! Hermana Johnson and I are working so hard, trying to find satisfaction with our efforts and joy in the work. We know we´re capable of a lot more, but haven´t been able to quite figure out how to accomplish it. We feel like we´re getting close though. Satan has been working on us especially hard this week. Hermana Johnson told me that she feels we´re on the verge of a breakthrough and he knows it. He doesn´t want us to figure it out because he knows he´ll be losing not just us, but so many more people that we´ll have the opportunity to teach and help experience true conversion. Hermana Reales sent me an email today saying that Rubén will be receiving his endowment soon. It makes me so happy! Now that I´m in Padua I´ve had the opportunity to see him a few times since we´re so close to Libertad. Hermana Reales will be coming to Buenos Aires to be there when he goes through the temple. She asked President Carter for permission for me. We´ll see what he says. We´ve hit a bit of a roadblock here as far as our investigators go. We´re having to drop a lot of them because they´re not progressing or we can´t ever get a hold of them. We have a lot of work to do in finding new people to teach and baptize. Preach My Gospel talks about how nothing happens in missionary work until you have someone to teach. It´s kind of obvious, but so true. We could spend all day knocking on doors and contacting in the street, but until we start teaching, we can´t fulfill our purpose as missionaries. We need to trust in God that He´ll guide us with the Spirit to those who are ready to receive the gospel. It´s possible that we´ll have to go through all those who aren´t ready yet to find them, but the important thing is to keep looking. I´ve really tried this week to listen to the Spirit and follow what He tells me I should do or say. I´m realizing how subtle and almost imperceptible His voice is. I´ve been straining myself to listen and the times when I´ve acted as a result have brought forth fruit. I know that as I work on listening for and recognizing the whisperings of the Spirit I´ll be able to recognize them more quickly and easily. When President Eyring came here for the temple dedication he spoke to the three Buenos Aires missions. He talked about what it´s like to assign missionaries to their missions and how faint the promptings are. He said he was sitting there with another one of the apostles and he did it a few times. He said he would see the photo of the future missionary and some basic information, then he´d look at a map of the world. One part would look just slightly brighter than the rest. He´d asked to see the countries in that part of the world and then one would look just slightly brighter than the rest. Then he´d ask for a list of the missions in that area and receive another very faint impression. He then looked at the other and said, "We´re talking about the lives of thousands of people here. Is this all I´m going to get?" It made me think, "if that´s all an apostle gets, what can I expect?" The voice of the Spirit really is a still, small voice. He will never yell or shout. He looks for those who are willing and ready to listen, gives them just enough information to move forward, and waits for them to seek guidance once again. I´m learning more and more every day how important it is to have the Spirit with us in what we do. It really doesn´t matter how much talent or knowledge we have. If we don´t have the Spirit, we will never have true success. The picture is of downtown Buenos Aires. It’s nothing but rain here right now. I’ve got to go. I love you and hope you have a wonderful week. Love, Erin
Monday, October 22, 2012
I learned a lot this week. As missionaries, we´re responsible for helping our investigators progress spiritually. I realized that I really don´t know what these people need. Only God knows that and the only way I´m going to really help these people is look for His guidance and trust the inspiration I receive. I need to focus all my efforts on them and what they need. I guess that´s what it means to lose yourself in the work. That´s also where the most joy comes from. We had to go to Capital Federal (downtown Buenos Aires) this morning to renew my visa now that I´ve been here almost a year. While we were there in the migration offices we met a girl from Virginia who is here studying. She´s studying the Bible to become a missionary. We talked a little about how rewarding it is to serve God and about why each of us decided to be missionaries. It was wonderful to see the faith she has and the desire she has to serve God and share the Gospel. Hermana Johnson asked her if she had ever had the chance to read the Book of Mormon. She said she hadn´t, and that all the truth God wants us to know can be found in the Bible, how there is no need to have any other book, that God made us with the capacity to understand and live what the Bible teaches. Hermana Johnson had brought her little quad and was reading out of it when we met this girl. She shared a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible and even offered to give the girl her personal scriptures if she would read the Book of Mormon and put it to the test. The girl declined, reassuring us that the Bible contained everything she needed to know and told us she would be praying for us. We left and Hermana Johnson asked me if she had done enough in inviting and testifying. I reassured her that she had, but I just felt sad inside. I´m used to having my religion and beliefs rejected in Spanish, but it´s a lot harder to just let it roll off and move on when it happens in my own language. Somehow I felt it more. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it is true. I love the Bible, also. It is true. I am so grateful to have two books of scripture that testify of Christ, help me understand God´s plan for His children, and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life. I know God calls prophets to guide us and that the Priesthood authority of God has been restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know because I have asked God and He has answered my prayer. I hope that girl will continue to have faith in God and I pray that someday she´ll be able to feel the joy that comes from knowing and living the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was thinking about what you said about your Young Women’s goal for baptisms in 2013. As missionaries, we wouldn´t function without our goals of key indicators. For so long in my mission I have felt what many feel, that putting a number down makes it so impersonal and that we end up working for the numbers and not for the people. Sometime I still struggle with this. But it´s important to remember that there are names behind every number. Every month we set a goal of baptisms, and we write down a number. We think about all of our possibilities and pray about how many we can baptize. Sometimes the number we feel like we should set is more than the number of people we have on our list of possibilities, but we need to remember that when God guides our goal setting, He always has a name behind the number. He has all of His sheep counted. We just have to do our part in finding them and helping them progress in learning and applying the gospel and towards making covenants with God. Preach My Gospel says that our goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our dedication to serving God. I know you can see 3 girls baptized as a Young Women´s organization in 2013. You have the desires and the testimonies. I am so proud of the youth in the New Mark ward. They inspire me. You have no idea how often I think of them and their examples to me. I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week. God bless. Love, Erin